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Breadth vs depth

December 3, 2009

In a recent column, Jakob Nielsen discusses the fast pace of media consumption — he calls it media velocity.

The velocity of media consumption has increased dramatically. Readers no longer linger over lovingly described passages … They click here, they click there, they click everywhere. But they don’t stay.

He doesn’t try to compare how we read/consume information on the web to books or other print media; instead he compares it to TV. Just on decision making:

  • TV: you make one decision every 30–120 minutes.
  • Web: you make a decision every 10–120 seconds.

The same week, Tony Self had this to say about reading on a technical writers list:

…reading behaviour is changing from deep vertical to horizontal skimming…

The bottom line, according to Nielsen:

When you develop content, services, and designs for the Web, remember that this medium has a much faster velocity than older media, whether print or TV.

You can read Nielsen’s full article here: http://www.useit.com/alertbox/media-velocity.html

See also:

[Links last checked November 2009]

One comment

  1. No never! Now I must go back and read the second paragraph ;-)



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